On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. –Luke 13:10-13
Halloween is a time when children and adults are given permission to be someone else. Talk to six-year-olds in September about what they are going to be for Halloween and they will have known for months: this year a princess, next year a doctor or perhaps a pumpkin, a superhero, fireman ,or a police officer. The costumes and masks we wear allow us to be someone or something else, even if it is just for a night.
The problem is, when many of us grow up we don’t stop wearing our masks. Perhaps you have had times in your life where just before you walk out the door, you put on your mask of contentment. What were you hiding? Perhaps it was a loss, pain, a burden, pride, selfishness, fear, or perfectionism? Sometimes these masks help get us through the day; however, the more you wear the mask the harder it is to take off. The more you continue to bury your emotions and fears and hide behind what you think the world wants to see, the more you risk losing yourself.
Luke tells a story of Jesus healing a crippled woman. This woman had been bent over for eighteen years. When Jesus sees her, He says, “You are set free from your infirmity.” Set free. What wonderful words from our Savior. He puts His healing hand on her and the scriptures tell us she immediately stood straight. Don’t you want to stand straight and come out from behind the mask you have been wearing?
Jesus came so that we all could be set free. He wants to free us from the bondage of sin, fear, pride, the world. Can you hear Him whispering in your ear, “Be free?” He wants to heal you just like He healed the crippled woman. He wants you to be set free from whatever cripples you and keeps you from having a relationship with Him. He wants to free you from anything that drains your hope and joy. He wants to free you from whatever entraps you. He wants you to know He sees through the mask, and He loves you just as you are. Ultimately, He wants to help you peel off the mask you hide behind.
1. What in your life do you work to cover up?
2. Pray and ask God to help you remove your mask.
Ecclesiastes 4:10; John 8:36; Galatians 5:1